To commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and France in 2024, the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Palace of Versailles in Paris have joined forces to celebrate cultural exchanges and historical ties by organizing a prominent exhibition at the Palace Museum in Beijing .

A total of 200 exquisite artifacts are on display, including relics testifying to the interactions between Emperor Kangxi of China’s Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and King Louis XIV of France, as well as custom-made objects from the Qianlong period of the Dynasty. Qing.

About the living history of China and France

As prominent representatives of Eastern and Western civilizations, China and France have a long history of cultural exchanges, despite the geographical distances that separate them.

Both the Forbidden City and the Palace of Versailles have served as political and cultural epicenters that have influenced global trends. Today, they are symbols of their countries’ respective histories and cultures, embodying their unique traditions and spiritual qualities.

It is especially notable that the archives of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs house a handwritten letter by King Louis XIV addressed to the Kangxi Emperor, dated 1688, underlining the historical connections between China and France. Although the letter itself did not reach Kangxi, he received a notable gift from Louis XIV: an intricately crafted gilt bronze pocket watch.


One of the highlights of the exhibition is this pocket watch, a testament to the special relationship between the two empires. Adorned with translucent blue enamel and golden lilies, symbols of the French royal court, and featuring a portrait of Louis -French.


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